In the center of the Mekong Delta, you’ll find Cai Rang Floating Market — the undisputed heartbeat of this vibrant region. A day trip to the Cai Rang Floating Market allows you to explore this unique town and all the colors, scents and sounds it has to offer.
A welcome escape from the rush of Ho Chi Minh City, Cai Rang is a short drive and an entire world away. Put your feet up and relax as your little boat bobs down the Mekong and between breathtaking scenes.
Here's everything you need to know about Cai Rang Floating Market, one of the most captivating day trips from Ho Chi Minh City.
The Cai Rang Floating Market is almost exactly in the middle of the Mekong Delta. It’s from this vantage point that the town grew into the bustling and colorful port that it is today.
The Cai Rang Floating Market is the perfect destination for a self-drive journey from Ho Chi Minh City.
The town is located southwest of HCMC, so you’ll head out towards Vinh Long, before turning south for the final stretch. The 160-kilometer journey will take you around 3 hours to complete.
A guided tour to the Cai Rang Floating Market affords you expert insights into the region, thanks to your knowledgeable guide. There are different options available, from day tours and multi-day trips to group and private tours.
Depending on the type of Cai Rang tour you choose, it can last anything from 7-12 hours to 2-3 days.
Most Cai Rang Floating Market tours start off early morning in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1. There will either be a central departure point, or the tour guide may pick you up from your District 1 Hotel. If you reside outside of District 1, you’ll have to make your way to the pickup point.
Once you’ve boarded your air-conditioned van or bus, you’ll leave the city behind. Concrete landscapes soon give way to green rice paddies, picturesque little towns and beautiful pastoral scenes.
Depending on the tour, you’ll either head directly to Cai Rang, or to a nearby town that you will explore and overnight in. Early morning is the best time to experience Cai Rang, so sit back and relax as the town comes to life around your little Vietnamese canoe.
After a day (or two) of exploration, you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch and then head back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Much like the Floating Market of Cai Rang, a myriad of choices is available to travelers looking to explore Cai Rang and the Mekong Delta. In the end, just like those curios you’ll be haggling for, it all depends on what you want.
An early morning pickup allows you to escape the traffic of Ho Chi Minh City and arrive in Cai Rang at 7 AM. This means you're just in time for the 8-10 AM rush, when the largest Mekong market goes into overdrive.
Enjoy lunch on a coconut island, watch artisans busy themselves with their crafts and relax in the shade of an orchid garden. Through all of this, your guide is always close at hand to answer any questions you may have.
You’ll be back in Ho Chi Minh City at 6 PM.
A private tour to the Cai Rang Floating Market is a perfect way to avoid the crowds while exploring the Mekong Delta. An early morning start means you’ll arrive at the market at 8:30 AM.
A delicious breakfast and a crash course in bartering set you on your way as you look to make the market dance to your beat. Lounge in the shade of an opulent garden, before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant and then heading back to Ho Chi Minh City.
The early bird catches the worm, and multi-day tours to Cai Rang allow you unparalleled access to the market by overnighting in nearby towns or villages.
If money or time isn’t a consideration, a multi-day tour is the best option to fully explore the Mekong Delta and the Cai Rang Floating Market.
You can also spend the first night discovering what Can Tho, the capital of the Mekong Delta, has to over. Then head out early the next morning to meander down the fruit and flower-filled waterways of Cai Rang.
Spend the next couple of days floating down the Mekong, with loads of activities — like visiting a fish farm and birdwatching at a bird sanctuary before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City.
The cost of day trips and tours to the Cai Rang market depends on their duration and the activities they include.
Guided day tours to the Cai Rang Floating Market from Ho Chi Minh City cost in the region of US$150.
A private tour to Cai Rang from Ho Chi Minh City cost between US$180 and US$190.
Multi-day tours to Cai Rang from Ho Chi Minh City cost between US$195 and US$200 for 2-day trips. A 3-day tour to Cai Rang from Ho Chi Minh City starts at US$370.
The Cai Rang Floating Market is a great central point from which to explore the rest of the Mekong Delta. There are hundreds of small, unique artisanal villages in this area, as well as stunning temples and pagodas.
The Mekong Delta is also home to the Can Gio reserve (a UNESCO-listed mangrove forest) and other floating markets like Cai Be.
Other activities in the area that are worth considering are boat tours in Ho Chi Minh City, the Cu Chi tunnels, Monkey Island and the fascinating Cao Dai temple.
The best time to visit the Floating Market of Cai Rang and the Mekong Delta, in general, is from November to April, when the weather is warm and dry. The market itself is best visited early between 7 and 10 AM.